Stacy Engman’s Diary: When Terence Koh Gave Me an American Gothic Baptism

After that, it was all General Koh vernacular art camaraderie.

Me at the American Gothic house in Eldon, Iowa.

I was delighted to get this invite recently by my friend, the artist Terence Koh:

deer stacy

pleased cone dip in the mikveh

bring bathing suit and towels or best dip naked

immerse completely 3 times

no nail polish

immerse with complete serious intention




Every once in a while Terence will invite friends to a ritual like this. His artistic practice is heavily influenced by the spiritual as was evident with Bee Chapel, his latest installation at Andrew Edlin gallery where he brought in 18 cubic yards of topsoil and placed on it a little hut made of beeswax and filled with bees.

And so, I did what any self-respecting glamorous art connoisseur would do. I put on my signature Sunglasses Tiara and headed for the chapel in the town of Wildrose New York—appropriately, a favorite flower of mine.


When I arrived at the chapel, Mike Osterhout’s Church of the Little Green Man, I noticed its Gothic windows, which were strikingly similar to those at the house in Eldon, Iowa that was the backdrop for Grant Wood’s famous painting, American Gothic. I originally went to Iowa for a Transcendental Meditation clinic at David Lynch’s film headquarters there, between stints on various art projects in Chicago.


Terence Koh in Wildrose, New York.

Baptism and rebirth of epic proportion was the theme of the art and spirit of this summer. Terence’s event perfectly captured it. One by one, we were redeemed and rebirthed. While I only dipped into the bath spiritually, and metaphorically, it was a full immersion nonetheless. And, I regularly incorporate violet, lavender, and rose salts in my baths.

After that, it was all General Koh vernacular art camaraderie. Here are the pictures to prove it.


Wildrose, New York.


Wildrose, New York.

Me at the American Gothic house in Eldon, Iowa.

Me at the American Gothic house in Eldon, Iowa.

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